The British monarch will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee on the hottest dates of June
King George VI died in his bed at Sandringham mansion in eastern England while his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, spent the night of February 5, 1952 with her husband, Philip, in a cabin built among the branches of the tree. Aberdare Forest, Kenya. The courtiers were unable to communicate her death to the new monarch, who spent the morning of the 6th excited about having seen rhinoceroses.
On the 8th, at Saint James’s Palace, very close to Buckingham Palace, the King of Arms, the highest official of the College of Heraldry, officially proclaimed the “high and powerful Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary queen of this kingdom and of all her other kingdoms.” kingdoms and territories, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith.” She was 25 years old and had come to the throne because her uncle Eduardo abdicated in 1936.
Seven decades later, Elizabeth II is the longest-lived monarch in the history of her country and among living kings and queens. The main events of her Platinum Jubilee celebration will be held in June. The queen herself now resides in Sandringham, where she this Saturday gave a reception to women’s neighborhood groups, retirees from the royal estate and members of charities.
Fourteen British prime ministers have come to Buckingham Palace weekly since then, to confer with the queen on the affairs of state. Although he received a brief formal education in arts and music, and his most outstanding interests are horse breeding and racing, his heads of government and foreign visitors often praise his expertise and appreciate his advice.
The United Kingdom of 1952, victorious in the Second World War, had undergone two deep and lasting transformations: the rationing of necessities and basic foods, and the development by the Government of Labor Clement Attlee of an economy with important nationalized sectors and an advanced system education, social security and public health.
Winston Churchill had returned to Downing Street four months earlier. From an aristocratic family, he got along with George VI and became the wise grandfather of the young queen. He got angry one day with the courtiers because they had not invited his rival Attlee to a dinner of rulers of the British dominions. But for the court it was not a domestic but an imperial meeting.
If his father’s main concerns were “beating the Germans and delaying the imminent disintegration of the Empire,” according to his secretary, Tommy Lascelles, postwar politics were based on a version of the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, after the abandoning Labor statism, and in preserving influence in a world polarized between the United States and the Soviet Union.
In the first decade of Elizabeth’s reign, the Kenyan Mau-Mau guerrilla rebellion had destroyed the hotel where she spent her last night as princess, and the United Kingdom had lost most of its colonies in Asia and Africa. She had been humiliated in her attempt to reverse Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser’s 1956 nationalization of the Suez Canal.
The imperialist adventure with Israel and France was boycotted by the United States, which at the same time provided British allies with nuclear missiles that could only be used within the framework of NATO, or in an extreme national emergency. Harold Macmillan privately described his desired relationship with Washington with an analogy: being like the Greek slaves who ran the operations of the Roman emperor, Claudius.
Macmillan’s collaborator, Edward Heath managed to eliminate in the second decade of Elizabeth’s reign the French veto against the United Kingdom’s entry into the then European Economic Community. British politics, anguished by economic weakness, gave domestic tumbles, while Elizabeth II complemented the national desire by weaving ties with the former colonies through the Commonwealth.
The strong personality of Margaret Thatcher was successful in the alliance with the United States, but caused tensions in the more fragile meetings with the countries associated with the Empire. Photographs and chronicles have suggested that Elizabeth II did not have a good relationship with the first woman who ruled her country and who established the economic and political canon of the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 21st century.
Seven decades later, the British queen dispatches with a prime minister, Boris Johnson, who as a child declared his intention to become “king of the world” and who had to be stopped by his advisers when he wanted to attend the weekly appointment with the ninety-year-old monarch in a time of height of the pandemic. The ‘brexit’ recreates the ambition of a sovereign and global projection, which Elizabeth II will not see crystallized.
Secretary Lascelles advised Isabel’s guardian about his constitutional role not to hide anything from him; nor was the passage by Parliament in 1780 of a motion stating that “the power of the Crown has increased, continues to increase, and must decrease.” He also hired a public relations professional “to answer the various newspaper questions about the princess.”
Elizabeth I gave stability to the Protestant hegemony in the 16th century and preserved the independence of England. Victoria reigned in the 19th century over the largest empire in history. Elizabeth II has displayed industriousness and temperance in a more ceremonial and symbolic monarchy, at a time of relative decline in her country. She has maintained her popularity in a more irreverent society, which demands greater transparency from her rulers.
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